Power Of One: Know How One Woman Has Empowered 1 Lakh Women In India Through Selfless Service

Image Credit: Neeti Goel

Power Of One: Know How One Woman Has Empowered 1 Lakh Women In India Through Selfless Service

The 'act of giving' is more readily talked about than accomplished, but not for this woman entrepreneur who has touched millions of lives through her philanthropic works. Through her 'Nari Nitti' initiative, she aims to give opportunities to rural women through which they can earn livelihoods.

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The 'act of giving' is more readily discussed than accomplished in contemporary society. It requires a clear motive, objective, and intent to serve humanity selflessly. Henry Ford, on the act of generosity, once said, "To do more for the world than the world does for you – that is a success."

In India, the pandemic year saw the highest call for help and the call of action by the changemakers ready to initiate steps for helping those in need. One among those was Neeti Goel, who touched millions of lives with her initiatives. The woman entrepreneur co-founded 'Khaana Chahiye' and provided free meals to homeless and needy people.

Taking Small Steps: Why Is It Important?

As people say that taking baby steps is one of the most potent tools to achieve milestones, it stands to be true at different stages of life. Neeti started by distributing 1,200 meals, and today she has crossed the mark of 80 lakh meals and 60 thousand ration kits. Along with volunteers, as a team player, she adopted over 32 orphanages and 800 sex workers and provided over 50 thousand sanitary napkins to needy people.

If she had thought that- what a woman alone can do, how a single person can help thousands of people- nothing would have been possible. She realised the urgency and had a clear vision- that she must take a step ahead to be on the grassroots level, and her one step took her miles ahead of others.

After her 'Khana Chahiye' initiative, she never looked back and continued her philanthropic activities. She co-founded the 'Ghar Bhejo' campaign with Sonu Sood and helped 1.5 lakh migrants reach home when railways and roadways transportation was restricted to a limit due to fear of the contagious virus.

After her initiatives in Maharashtra, she went to Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, and distributed ration kits to several weavers, potters, and boatmen as these people were highly affected by the pandemic-led lockdown, mainly on financial fronts.

During this time, she noticed that girl children near a Naxalite village around Mirzapur were not allowed to attend schools. Neeti and her team provided them with 250 bicycles so they could attend school and educate themselves.

She did everything from helping rural women who were victims of domestic violence to training them in self-defense. Soon after, she created an army of 25 women who would stand together to fight any such adverse situation. It only expanded, and more than 1800 women joined the army.

Beginning Of Nari Nitti

After Uttar Pradesh, states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan were her next destination, where she started the initiative named 'Nari Nitti.' The socially-driven initiative is to bring a revolutionary change in the lives of rural women by providing them opportunities to earn a livelihood and live a meaningful life.

While talking with The Logical Indian, she mentioned, "Women in rural areas, especially with less than 100 homes, are very less developed, and it has no industrialisation. It's one of the major reasons women don't get an opportunity to earn and live a life of respect."

"Understanding such a situation, we started the Nari Nitti program towards women's empowerment. I feel they are already empowered; they only need opportunities to show their true potential," she added.

In the mission of empowering women, she also started the 'Har Ghar Gaay Abhiyaan' under the Nari Nitti Cooperative Society For Rural Tribal Women Empowerment to empower rural families.

The initiative is to donate cows to people in rural areas below the poverty line so they can at least make a living by selling milk and ghee and making diya's out of cow dung. Neeti started this initiative to ensure everyone gets a right to live a life of dignity and have two meals daily.

As many as 500 cows will be donated to needy people in the first phase of the project after much scrutiny and a rigorous selection process so that the right recipients benefit from this project.

Heart-Touching Story From Rural India

In Madhya Pradesh, there is a woman who has five children, her husband was an alcoholic and used to beat her, and their family was suffering through extreme poverty. She used to drive a cycle rickshaw to earn a livelihood for herself and her children.

One day her rickshaw broke, which led her to extreme depression. Someone from the village reached out to Neeti's team seeking help. Without any second thought, Neeti provided her with an e-rickshaw through which she could earn a good amount of money daily with minimal effort.

While living a life of dignity and respect, she has become self-sufficient in providing education to her children and fetching them healthy food. While commenting on the same, Neeti said, "This is a story of hope, never losing courage or giving up on life. We should never lose hope and fight against all odds as we don't know what god has in store for us at the next step."

Neeti Goel Giving Away Key Of E-Rickshaw To A Woman from Madhya Pradesh

She added, "Under Nari Nitti, we have started a new project for women below the poverty line in rural areas where there are no job opportunities or industrialization. By donating cows to those needy women and widows who don't have any other medium to earn bread, they can at least have two meals a day by selling cow's milk, cow dung, and ghee."

Promoting Smokeless Stove In Villages

The purpose-driven woman entrepreneur and philanthropist, Neeti, during her work at the grassroots level in rural areas, realised that several households burn solid fuels like wood, cow dung, and crop waste for cooking food. Most of the rural population does the same practice as they don't have any other cooking medium.

According to a global comparative risk assessment organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), solid-fuel soot accounted for about 2.6 per cent of illnesses worldwide in 2000 as it emitted substantial amounts of health-damaging pollutants, including particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and benzene, among others. As part of its consequences, respiratory and lung diseases are common, especially among women and children.

Taking note of life-threatening practices, she started focusing on the smokeless stoves that can be made at home. Along with her team of volunteers, she is teaching people in rural areas about the ways and methods of making smokeless stoves. Such a shift can save millions of life from severe diseases annually.

Smokeless Stoves Made Under The Naari Neeti Initiative

What Does It Take To Become Philanthropist?

Changemakers like Neeti Goyal had an objective with a vision and prepared a roadmap to implement the efforts on-ground. Nothing in this world is easy, and becoming a philanthropist is no exception. However, people who have already identified a cause to work on find it easy to bring solutions.

While conversing with The Logical Indian, Neeti Goel mentioned, "There are three stages of doing philanthropic work- identifying the problem and finding a solution, arranging the financial solution for the same, and implementing it with volunteers."

She added that not everyone needs to become a philanthropist, as many people can be donors, volunteers, action planners, and manage a project to benefit society. "How a car runs on four wheels, similarly a philanthropic project needs people who can support, manage, and monitor it," she added.

She has earned many recognitions, especially for her efforts to empower rural women. Most recently, she was felicitated with the 'Iconic Women Of The Year' award at the Society Achievers' Awards 2022. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, and his Deputy, Devendra Fadnavis, presented her with the award.

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde & Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis Presenting Award To Neeti Goel

The actions taken by Neeti Goel to empower and uplift the rural community have inspired millions of people to take a step forward and do something for society. In Neeti's words, all initiatives and social movements have been possible only because of the support of one man — Pranay Goel — husband of Neeti Goel, and his family's LB trust.

The Logical Indian extends warm wishes and all the luck to Neeti and her team on their journey of empowering people and transforming India.


Also Read: On Women's Entrepreneurship Day, Meet These Changemakers Who Are Transforming India

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Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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Creatives : Ronit Kumar Singh